tv [untitled] January 29, 2013 5:30am-6:00am PST
for disclosure. so i would encourage you to ask him that. >> other questions from the commissioners? commissioner studley, you wanted to wait until there was public comment. is there anything else that you want to share is in ? >> no, i agree with you and commissioner liu. i don't find this to be willful. since the understanding -- that this was part of the
investigative file and the degree to which it could have well been made with good faith and that we have teased apart this particular category of communication within the ethics staff as being the one place where there might be documents that were appropriately disclosed suggests to me that was a reasonable basis. >> would any of the commissioners like to hear from mr. st.croix on this? >> yes. &i think that would be helpful. >> mr. st. croix, can you come to the podium, please? >> in terms of the three pages of documents in question once
redacted they are rendered meaningless and as such, provide no usable public information. so just in defense of that, it's not withholding any information that is usable by the complainant or any member of the public. >> in that regard i found dr. kerr's comment informative. my organization files for requests and record requests with the state and think there is a difference between a document, however frustratingly redacted and no document at all. with that said, i can understand that that determination was made in good
faith by the commission in applying what they understood to be the standard. >> mr. givner? >> just jumping in and following on what i said earlier. mr. st. croix is right. and in that the city, when we such a sunshine complaint, the department is not required to produce page after page of entire redacted information. but if there is substantive information in the document, and can be revealed with minor -- released with minor redactions, that is when we would suggest redacting. so there is a fair amount of judgment in that. and that goes to commissioner studley's point. >> we are not -- are we prohibited from releasing a document with no substance? >> i think when this document is produced, in my view it
would fall on the end of the redactions that i would categorize as so severe as to be virtually encompassing the entire document. because miss herrick conducted this investigation for us, because i didn't find the information that was not redacted to be privileged, i think in this instance, production is appropriate. but i certainly do not fault the commission for not producing a document in this form, which the public can evaluate it once they see it, but i think they will find it to be not particularly useful as a publicly disclosed document. thank you, mr. st. croix.
>> is there a motion with respect to whether we should find the failure to release these three documents in redacted form to be a willful violation of the sunshine ordinance? >> i move that we find that the failure to release these documents was not a willful failure -- a willful violation of the sunshine ordinance. >> is there a second? >> second. >> all in favor? >> aye. >> opposed? motion passed. i also want to say in response it to a number of the members of the public that i understand the frustration with not being able to see what we get to see, what the controller's office sees, and what the commissioner itself sees. these investigations are fact-intensive. the commissioner spends a lot of time on them, and i would really like for you to be able
to know and to prove that to you. we are bound by rules of non-disclosure. we are bound by the charter and state law and there is good reason for confidentialitis, i think as i set at the last meeting. we need to protect whistle-blowers and need to protect people who talk to commission investigators and controller's investigators, in order to try to make this system work. so i don't think i'm alone in that. >> next item on the agenda is discussion and possible action on the ethics commission budget. >> mr. st. croix, would you like to introduce this matter?
>> so the numbers break down as before you in the memo. we have been asked in the past several budget years due to difficulties with city budget to make cuts so substantial that would prove damaging to the commission's commission. this year, although budget news is good, it's not fantastic and the mayor's office is requesting what seems to be very minor cuts for the next two fiscal years. approximately $34,000 each of those years from us. our prior custom has been to respectfully request that our budget not be cut, but not ask for increases so that we
maintain our independence as an independent agency in making these decisions. but yield to the realities of the budget year. i have not made that recommendation this year. it's really going to be a policy call for the commissioners, if i have to make a $34,000 cut i believe it would cause us some pain. but i believe it's doable. on the other hand, there are things that we need to do that just aren't getting done. so looking in the long-term, we just don't have enough staff for everything that is going on. so a possible approach would be to accept the cut in the spirit of cooperation, but direct me to work with the mayor's office and the board to try to get it restored through the budget process, which would again be a sort of the solution
of sorts. it would accede to the mayor's budget demands, but it would also leave open the possibility that we could possibly work something out. i would like to introduce our new budget officer, mr. cunningham works for the mayor's budget office and jason, if you want to come up and introduce yourself. we have this sort of revolving chair with our budget analyst and sometimes i think it goes to the person who is the newest in the shop, i'm not sure. but i'm suggesting that as a likely possibility. if you have any questions for the budget analyst, now would be the time to ask. >> and i would state that i have only been in this job for about a month. so i may or may not be able to help you out with your questions, but i will definitely be ready to listen to anything that you say.
>> we appreciate you coming nonetheless. >> not a problem. >> i don't have any questions. does anybody on the commission have questions for the budget analyst? >> not really, no. >> was it mr. cunningham? >> i look forward to working with mr. st. croix and we'll see where we go. thanks. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> i have a question. >> commissioner hayon. >> when you say there are things that you would like to get done, that you aren't to get done currently, what are some of these issues. >> we have two extremely competent investigators, but we could do more with more. right now we audit all candidates and random sampling of all candidates and eventually i think we should be
able to audit every single candidate. auditing is one of the most effective tools we have, anti-corruption tools. and we want to continue to provide the services to the public in overseeing. the audits that we do right now are taking longer. we're trying to do more, but the mayoral audits, for example, we only had one real audit to do in the last mayoral election. and in this one we had a lot more and mayoral audits take longer than supervisorial audits, for example. we have gotten much better about giving out notices of fines, and other responses to infractions. but i would like to do more than that. we want to move forwards monthly reporting of consultants, like we do with lobbyists. so that is going to
take a little more effort on things like that. >> any other recommendations or comments for the executive director with respect to the budget? i think given what we want to do, i think given the public concern about our investigatory budget, given that the public wants us to do more investigations based on certainly what we hear in front of us, i would be fine with you doing what you have typically done and not proposed a budget cut. i think certainly the public relies on us to some extent for
our investigatory work and we want to continue that and certainly not diminish that result of budget cuts, in my opinion. any other comments? is there public comment on this matter? >> david pilpel, a number of items starting with memo. i don't know why commissioner renne fell off the letterhead here. i apologize and i hope he is still with us and perhaps it's just an oversight. plus the date should be 2013. this is actually not a lot of detail. it's like no detail. and this is actually a required annual hearing on the budget pursuant to the charter. i appreciate commissioner hayon's question and the director's answer. i think in whatever transmittal comes from the commission and
the staff to the mayor and controller should include some of the that language about things that aren't getting done, could be done, could be done better. i think that very much supports the budget request. and i think that in general terms, that the commission should not acsaid accede and probably not make additional requests for funds, but note there is additional work that could be done with other resources. and hey, i will continue to say if there is a need for a cut, i think we should reevaluate the cost of being on sfgovtv and reserve those funds for only those public hearings like the mirkarimi matter last year which were of great public concern. i think tonight's meeting is a good example of why we don't need to be on tv.
sorry. i would also note that some of the programs that the commission runs have fees that don't fully cover their costs, and i have said many times before, whether it's the consultant program, the lobbyist program or other things, that we should either set fees to cover the full costs or at least know what the full costs are, and acknowledge that we are supporting those programs, with general fund dollars to some degree. and where there are differences try to level them off and say, rather than covering 18% and 32%, we're going to set as policy that we're going to cover about 25% of our program costs through program revenues. i would also note there is a new state law that now requires campaign filers to pay -- what is it? a $50 annual registration fee to the secretary of state. i don't know if we would be able to do that here, if we were, that would be interesting.
and we could cover some of our campaign filing-related costs through that program. i'm not suggesting that the audit or public financing program costs should be covered, but there are certainly costs related to filing of statements that are now being born by the general fund. so i think we should look more carefully at what our general fund costs and what could be program costs. i will leave it at that, unless there are questions. thank you. >> there is no action that needs to be taken, is there? >> normally you would have a vote. >> a vote. >> from the action that the commission is acting me to take. >> is there a motion to affirm the executive director submiting a budget that does not include the requested 1.5%
cut in the department's funding? >> so moved. >> second. >> all in favor? >> aye. >> opposed? hearing none, the motion passes. the next item on the agenda is discussion and possible action regarding a complaint received or ebitiated by the ethics commission, possible closed session. public comment on all matters pertaining to agenda item vi, including whether to meet in closed session. >> yes, i would just like to request that you be as specific as possible regarding the arraignments for reconvening the meeting and the minimum time it might take. >> the minimum amount of time it might take -- difficult to
determine. i would -- do with give these estimates? >> probably half an hour. >> probably half an hour would be my guess, but it's very difficult to determine in advance. is there a motion to move into closed session under chapter section c3-699.13? >> so moved. >> second. >> all in favor? >> aye. >> opposed? hearing none, we will move into closed session. >> with all due respect you didn't answer the other part of my question, are we going to leave and are you going to notify people in the hallway? do we wait here and you retire to another room? >> so, if you would leave,
session, keep that confidential? that is perhaps not the most el eloquent motion i have ever made. >> [ laughter ] >> so moved. >> second. >> public comment? hearing none, all in favor? >> aye. >> opposed? there are none. mr. st. croix, can you make the announcements? >> finding of probable cause for ethics commission complaint 13-111013, at its regular meeting of january 28th, 2013, in the matter of ethics complaint 13-1103,the ethics commission made a determination that there is probably cause to believe the following violations of the san francisco campaign and governmental conduct code occurred and that the respondents committed them.
one violation of san francisco campaign and governmental conduct code section 1.1 16 subsection a2 for reporting and receiving a loan to his candidate committee in excess of $120,000. two, one violation of san francisco campaign and governmental conduct code section 1.1 16, subsection c, for repaying aloan amount in excess of $120,000. 3 one violation of california government code section 81 104, subdivision a has incorporated into local law by san francisco campaign and governmental conduct code section 1.1 106 for not accurately reporting either the correct amount loan or the date that the loan was deposited into the committee's bank ak. four, one violation of san francisco campaign and governmental conduct code for not providingdoms that were required to keep within ten business days after a request
by ethics commission staff. five, 16 violations of california code section 1 4104 as incorporated into local law by san francisco campaign and governmental conduct code section 1.1 06 for faying to maintain detailed records that document the days on which his committee made 15 expenditures, the amounts of the expenditures, the names and addresses of the payees or description of the goods or services. 6,15 violations of san francisco campaign and governmentality conduct code subdivision a1 for failing to make 15 campaign expenditures from the candidate committee's bank account. each commissioner who participated in a decision to find probable cause must certify on the record that he or she personally heard or read the testimony, reviewed the evidence or otherwise reviewed the entire record of the proceedings. >> each commissioner must so certify. >> you want individuals.
>> one at a time? >> commissioner renne? >> i will so certify. >> i so certify. >> i so sort if i certify. >> i so certify. >> i so certify. >> the respondents are presumed to be innocent unless such time they are proved in the merits. the executive director shall issue accusations for investigations and enforcement proceedings. >> the next item on the agenda discussion and possible action on moats of the commission's regular meeting of november 26th, 2012. >>
>> public comment. >> david pilpel on page 3 of the draft minutes under "public comment," is someone following with me sorry. bottom of page 3. under "public comment." mr. ng stated that he needed clarification, i believe needed would be better. on page 4, "public comment," towards the top, my comments stated that the term "qualification" should be included perhaps in the definition, not into. on the bottom of page 4, item 5, the closed session evaluation of director st. croix i believe that should also reference the brown act and sunshine ordinance provisions that permit such closed sessions. and there was one other --
one moment. well there was one another thing and darned if i can find it now. i will try to find it and communicate it to staff, but just minor typographical things. i did try to read the minutes. thank you. >> is there a motion to adopt the minutes as amended by mr. pilpel? >> so moved. >> second. >> all in favor? >> aye. >> opposed? hearing none, next item on the agenda is the executive director's report. >> i just want to throw one thing on top of the report.
during public comment earlier a number of people mentioned again the jewelle gomez case and i did call the mayor's office and to ask if it was forthcoming and said they would do so today. the first question is a response coming? the answer is no. then, that is that if it's yes, i will try to get an idea of when. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> any questions from the commissioners on the executive director's report? public comment? david pilpel and i did find the other thing on the minutes page 4 in the middle of "public comment," while i was talking about an insufficient number of
commas, i would insert a comma there, to make the comment more readable. onto the executive director's report. trying to liven this up in case anybody is watching this. >> we're watching, mr. pilpel. >> we're watching, mr. pilpel. >> that is right. in connection with the november, 2012 election, i would anticipate we're going to get a report from staff about the effectiveness of the public financing program. i assume, although i didn't see a survey that there was a survey after the november election, maybe? so i'm looking forward to hearing more about that. there was reference somewhere in here about -- or maybe it was discussed earlier about the number of audits. there is no discussion in the executive director's report about the status of audits, where we are, since we're halfway through the year? are we halfway through the
audits that were scheduled? kind of the audit status? i continue to note that although i guess we got past the instant issue with chris jackson that we still have an outstanding balance that mr. jackson owes the city. i continue to believe that we should publish a list of all the bad actors that have outstanding fees, fines, forms out. and i wanted to note on page 4 the technology upgrades. i would like to thank steven massey, it director, as much as possible, because he is one of the unheralded staff members who really does a lot in terms of servers and technology and the whole dashboard program. the updates to the electronic filing program really have been helpful, as i understand. and kudos to steven for that
work. thank you. >> thank you. and i certainly echo the great work that mr. massey and the staff have done on our electronic filing. i do think it has added a lot of value, and i know the regulated community and the public i have heard have appreciated those efforts as well. anything else relating to the executive director's report from the commissionersin the next item on the agenda is items for future meetings. anybody would like to add anything? >> i just wanted to express appreciation for the interested persons meeting announcement, and i'm glad that we'll be talking about that report at a future meeting. some of the issues that were raised in the course of these conversations kind